Negligence of elderly patients

Stories about negligence of elderly patients regularly appear in the media, but there are also many events that don’t make the headlines. Well-known figures are constantly debating ways to improve how we care for elderly patients.

Problems can arise when patients feel unable to air their concerns about health issues. They may have complicated medical histories, which means that they may not get the care they need, leading to them feeling voiceless.

One way to combat this problem is to ensure communication between the people caring for them and their doctors is of the highest quality. Elderly people should be encouraged to express any concerns they have about the treatment they are getting and any problems they may be experiencing.

negligenceAbuse of the elderly can be defined as single or repeated acts that cause harm to patients by people that are tasked with caring for them. Some studies claim that around 1 in 25 elderly people suffer from abuse or negligence during the later years of their lives.

Has negligence occurred?

Examples of negligence might include elderly people not being bathed or fed when they need to be, not being given the right medication at the right time or not being helped to the toilet. Abuse may involve elderly people being taken advantage of, threatened or being sworn at. Some elderly people are not able to see, think or hear as well as they once could, which can leave them open to abuse or medical negligence.

There are many reputable companies that can assist you if you or a loved one have experienced abuse or neglect as an elderly person. The best legal professionals always fight tirelessly to ensure elderly people can get justice and compensation for any poor treatment they have received. It’s wise to report any abuse or neglect of an elderly person to the police. Abuse and neglect can occur in and out of care homes and hospitals. It can even occur within the home, and many family members have been found guilty of mistreating their elderly relatives. You or your loved one could be entitled to clinical negligence compensation if abuse or neglect has taken place.

Work with the right legal team

Legal professionals can provide you with in-depth if you or a loved one have been subjected to poor treatment. If you’re not sure which company to opt for, it could be wise to speak to three or four firms in depth so you can come to an informed decision and find out how much experience they have in the field of negligence and abuse.
Some law firms have vast experience in dealing with hospital and care home-based personal injury, neglect and abuse claims. Neglect can lead to malnutrition, slips, broken bones, dehydration, falls and pressure sores to give just a few examples. It can even lead to death.
Whilst the vast majority of care homes and hospitals have a good reputation, various examples of abuse and neglect have appeared in the national news over recent years, with many documentaries exposing the poor treatment some elderly people are being subjected to.
Elderly people should be encouraged to speak up if they have been treated badly, so if you suspect a loved one may have been treated poorly behind closed doors, try to make them feel relaxed about expressing themselves.

Has someone failed in their duty of care?

Elderly people may take much longer to recover from slips, trips and falls than younger people. This helps to emphasise the importance of high-quality care. Accidents can cause existing conditions to be exacerbated too. If you think someone has failed in their legal duty of care to an elderly person, it could be wise to take action as soon as possible. By taking action, you could be helping other elderly people to avoid being treated badly.

If you need to speak to a specialist to see if you have a case for compensation, Kent Compensation based in Maidstone Kent are specialist personal injury lawyers providing advice and information to clients who have been the victim of medical and clinical negligence. For more information about the services offered by the personal injury lawyers visit the Kent Compensation website.

“Negligence of elderly patients is unacceptable and legal proceedings, if necessary, should be pursued to deter this”


Medical misdiagnosis – a continuing problem in the NHS

Medical misdiagnosis is a continuing problem in the NHS; although medical technology and our understanding of the human anatomy are improving all the time, the vast number of different illnesses and injuries that doctors have to assess – often under pressure and with limited resources – means that mistakes are still made from time-to-time. This is a challenge that doctors and nurses face every day; however, there are ways to reduce the risk of a medical misdiagnosis occurring.

Misdiagnosis generally falls into one of three categories: ‘total misdiagnosis’, ‘late misdiagnosis’ and ‘incorrect misdiagnosis’. A total misdiagnosis is the complete failure of a medical professional to diagnose a patient’s health problem or illness. If an illness is eventually diagnosed after being initially missed, it is classed as a late misdiagnosis. And if the patient is diagnosed with the wrong illness, injury or medical condition, it is referred to as an incorrect misdiagnosis. Each category of misdiagnosis presents its own problems, and each can have long-term implications for the general health of the patient.

DoctorWhen considering making a personal injury compensation claim for medical misdiagnosis, it is important to remember that there is a three-year time limit within which to make a claim. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule: If the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the misdiagnosis, they have three-years from the date of their 18th birthday within which to make a claim; if the injured party is suffering from a mental illness, they have three years after fully recovering from their illness to make a compensation claim.

Despite advances in medical technology and knowledge, cases of medical misdiagnosis are still on the rise. The number of claims for medical misdiagnosis increased by almost 18% in 2013/2014, and a total of £1.6 billion was paid out in 2014. There were a total of 11,945 new clinical negligence claims in 2014, and the potential liabilities of the NHS Litigation Authority currently stands at a staggering £26.1 billion, of which £25.7 billion relates to clinical negligence claims.

Between April 1995 and March 2014, there were a total of 37,528 clinical negligence claims relating to surgical errors – more than twice as much as reported for obstetrics and gynaecology (18,132) and medicine (17,479). During the same period, there were a total of 11,676 claims made for Accident & Emergency cases. In terms of NHS trusts, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust received 478 medical misdiagnosis compensation claims, while the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was second with 179 compensation claims.

Blackwater Law is a highly regarded and trusted firm of personal injury lawyers who have extensive experience in cases relating to clinical negligence, criminal injuries, workplace accidents and more. Their professional approach and commitment to securing the compensation their clients deserve has earned them as a reputation as one of the leading personal injury solicitors in the UK, and with their ‘no win, no fee’ service and free one-hour consultation there is no financial risk to the client at any stage of the personal injury compensation process.

“If you or a relative have suffered serious consequences through a misdiagnosis then you deserve recompense”